UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Academic Integrity

Information For Students

The UW-System and its schools expect that students uphold a high level of academic integrity when completing coursework while in attendance at an institution. UWS Administrative Code Chapter 14 is a set of policies and procedures regarding academic integrity that all students are expected to follow while enrolled as a student of the UW-System. 

Academic Misconduct Process

At the University of Wisconsin River Falls instructors, with help from the office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, are responsible for administering the University's UWS Chapter 14 Academic Misconduct process. This process is outlined as follows:

You've submitted a paper, taken an exam, completed a presentation, or otherwise finished an assignment for a class.  Your instructor has received the finished coursework and suspects that some form of academic misconduct took place.

1. You will have the opportunity to meet with your instructor to discuss the alleged misconduct.  Your instructor will offer to schedule a meeting with you to discuss the allegation(s).

During the meeting, make sure to:

  • Be open and honest with your instructor.
  • Explain the situation from your perspective.
  • Answer all of your instructor's questions.
  • Ask questions if you have them.

2. Your instructor will consider all of the information available to them and make a determination on whether academic misconduct took place under UWS Administrative Code Chapter 14.  

Should you choose not to meet with your instructor, they will make a determination based on the information available to them.

Determination of Responsibility

1. If an instructor determines academic misconduct took place under UWS Administrative Code Chapter 14, there are a number of sanctions that are available for them to consider.  These sanctions include:

Group "A" sanctions (Sanctions imposed by the instructor)

  • Oral reprimand
  • Written reprimand to student only
  • Assignment to repeat the work

Group "B" sanctions (Sanctions imposed by the instructor)

  • Lower or failing grade on assignment/test
  • Lower grade in course
  • Failing grade in course
  • Removal from course
  • Written reprimand in disciplinary file

Group "C" sanctions (Sanctions recommended by the instructor)

  • Disciplinary probation
  • Suspension or expulsion from the university

2. The instructor will choose the sanction(s) they feel are appropriate for the violation.

Note: An instructor can choose more then one sanction for the violation(s) of academic misconduct. The sanctions imposed for violations can also be a mixture of sanctions from the multiple sanctioning groups listed above.

Group A and/or Group B Sanctions

If your instructor chooses a group "A" sanction:

1. Your instructor will inform you of their decision via a formal letter outlining the appropriate sanction(s).

This formal letter will contain:

  • The violation for which you were found responsible.
  • A summary of the evidence used to make that determination.
  • An outline of the sanctions deemed appropriate for the violation.
  • The appeal process should you choose to file an appeal of their decision.

2. Your Instructor will provide you a copy of the formal decision letter by delivering it to you in person and/or mailing a copy to your permanent address located in eSIS. 

Should you choose to appeal your instructor's decision, you have 10 days from the issuance of the formal letter to request that a hearing be scheduled to review your case.

If your instructor chooses a group "B" sanction:

1. Your instructor will inform you of their decision via a formal letter outlining the appropriate sanction(s).

This formal letter will contain:

  • The violation for which you were found responsible.
  • A summary of the evidence used to make that determination.
  • An outline of the sanctions deemed appropriate for the violation.
  • The appeal process should you choose to file an appeal of their decision.

2. Your Instructor will provide you a copy of the formal decision letter by delivering it to you in person and/or mailing a copy to your permanent address located in eSIS.

3. In addition, your instructor will prepare a written report describing the alleged misconduct, the recommended  sanction(s), and all evidence used to make their decision.

4. The prepared report will be forwarded to the office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (SCCS).

5. A formal case is created by SCCS for your student conduct record.

Should you choose to appeal your instructor's decision, you have 10 days from the issuance of the formal letter to request that a hearing be scheduled to review your case.

Group C Sanctions

If your instructor suggests a group "C" sanction:

1. Your instructor will inform you of their decision via a formal letter outlining the appropriate sanction(s).

This formal letter will contain:

  • The violation for which you were found responsible.
  • A summary of the evidence used to make that determination.
  • An outline of the sanctions recommended for the violation.

2. Your Instructor will provide you a copy of the formal decision letter by delivering it to you in person and/or mailing a copy to your permanent address located in eSIS.

3. In addition, your instructor will prepare a written report describing the alleged misconduct, the recommended  sanction(s), and all evidence used to make their decision.

4. The prepared report will be forwarded to the office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (SCCS).

5. A formal case is created by SCCS for your student conduct record.

6. SCCS will conduct an investigation into the alleged misconduct which may include a meeting with:

  • You (the student)
  • The instructor for which alleged misconduct occurred
  • Any relevant witnesses

It is important that you communicate with SCCS and attend any scheduled meetings.

7. Once SCCS has concluded their investigation, they will prepare an investigative report outlining their findings and recommending sanctions, if necessary. SCCS will notify you of their findings via a formal letter.

Possible outcomes of their investigation, should you be found responsible, include: all sanctions from group A, group B and/or disciplinary probation, suspension, or expulsion.

  • If disciplinary probation is determined to be the appropriate sanction, you have 10 days from the date of the formal letter to request a hearing. If you Choose not to request a hearing, the sanction is final. 
  • If suspension or expulsion is determined to be an appropriate sanction, a hearing will be automatically scheduled with a hearing board or hearing examiner.

The Hearing Process

1. If a hearing must be automatically scheduled or the student requests an Administrative Hearing within 10 days of receiving the formal letter a hearing will be scheduled on the student's behalf to review the information from the case.

  • Academic misconduct hearings are conducted by either a hearing board (two faculty/staff members and one student) or hearing examiner (one faculty/staff member).

2. Once the academic misconduct hearing is scheduled the student is notified of the date and time should they choose to participate in providing information during the scheduled hearing.

3. After the academic misconduct hearing has concluded, the hearing board/examiner determines the student's responsibility for the violation(s). The student is notified of the decision within 14 days of the scheduled academic misconduct hearing.

Determination of Responsibility by a Hearing Board/Examiner

1. If the student is found not responsible for violations under UWS Administrative Code Chapter 14:

  • The student is notified by letter delivered to the student's UWRF e-mail outlining the findings.
  • The case is closed and has no negative affect on the student's disciplinary conduct record.

2. If the student is found responsible for at least one violation under UWS Administrative Conduct Code Chapter 14, they are notified via a formal letter delivered to the student's UWRF e-mail account outlining the following:

  • The case findings
  • The Hearing Board or Examiner's rationale for their decision
  • All sanction information